Aguilera flubs national anthem at Super Bowl
February 6th, 2011
09:31 PM ET

Aguilera flubs national anthem at Super Bowl

O say, can Christina have a do-over?

Christina Aguilera helped kick off Sunday's Super Bowl with a singer's nightmare, flubbing the words of "The Star-Spangled Banner" about 40 seconds into the song as tens of millions prepared to watch the game between the Green Bay Packers and the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Standing at midfield at Texas' Cowboys Stadium, the singer-actress mixed a previously sung clause with the one she was supposed to be on.

Here's what she sang, with the error in bold:

"O say can you see, by the dawn’s early light,
What so proudly we hail’d at the twilight’s last gleaming,
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight
What so proudly we watched at the twilight’s last [unintelligible].”

That fourth line was supposed to be: "O'er the ramparts we watch'd were so gallantly streaming."

In a statement released by her publicist, Aguilera explained what happened:

"I got so lost in the moment of the song that I lost my place," the singer said. "I can only hope that everyone could feel my love for this country and that the true spirit of its anthem still came through."

Aguilera isn't the first person to have trouble with the song, as Time magazine's "Top 10 Worst National-Anthem Renditions" will remind us.

The list includes Michael Bolton's effort at a 2003 playoff baseball game in Boston's Fenway Park, where he had to pause midsong and check some notes before correctly getting through the same line that troubled Aguilera.

Aguilera sang the national anthem twice during last year's NBA finals. She delivered both performances without incident.

- CNN's Denise Quan contributed to this report.

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Filed under: Celebrity • Football • Pro football • Showbiz • Sports
soundoff (2,138 Responses)
  1. Korereactor

    Slow news day? She doesn't deserve this! Front page? come on CNN, give me break – she's an awesome singer. You guys are sad.

    February 7, 2011 at 10:00 am | Report abuse |
  2. Get It Right

    That's what she gets for trying to make her own rendition. Just sing the song like it was meant to be sung. EVERYONE, not just her.

    February 7, 2011 at 10:00 am | Report abuse |
  3. Collin

    These things happen when you're drunk.

    February 7, 2011 at 10:00 am | Report abuse |
  4. R&Bsux

    What can you say, to the horrible selection from the NFL corperation with the national anthem to the half time show, Why do we just let MTV take over the responsiblity of corrigraphing the next superbowl. Maybe they'll make a reallity show out of it and you know have the "gangsta's" and their "ho's" parade around with 40's in one hand and 9mm in the other yelling "we own dis s**t". I like seeing the super bowl's with real talent like Tom Petty, ZZ Top, Aerosmith, Garth Brooks (retired) The people that praise this wonderful country not the nonsense that uses their money to exploit it.

    Next Super Bowl 50 cent sings the half time show and we can get Snookie from jersey shores to sing the national anthem

    February 7, 2011 at 10:00 am | Report abuse |
  5. MissMel10

    Must EVERYTHING be a big deal these days? The woman forgot a line...something that has happened to every performer at some point in their career. It was an honest mistake. She didn't purposely make a mockery of the song, like Roseanne Barr did, yet she's being persecuted just as badly. Maybe you perfect people who criticize her could do a better job and should give it a try next year.

    February 7, 2011 at 10:01 am | Report abuse |
  6. Tyler

    Why is this front page news?

    February 7, 2011 at 10:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Mossman

      Cuz it money money. Just look at all the comments here.

      February 7, 2011 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
  7. Molly

    Maybe if famous "artists" like Christina would sing the song like it was truely written instead of adding a bunch of "fluff" to the melody then they wouldn't flub the words. She even changed some of the melody. Be proud to sing the National Anthem like it was written instead of disgracing it with all this adlib that doesn't even sound appealing.

    February 7, 2011 at 10:01 am | Report abuse |
  8. The Brit

    She's human and humans sometimes make mistakes. There are far more important things to think about these days than a small mistake like this.

    February 7, 2011 at 10:01 am | Report abuse |
  9. trucknutz

    More the half the audience don't know the words anyways. 30% of USA wants Palin to be POTUS. USA , the land of retards.

    February 7, 2011 at 10:01 am | Report abuse |
  10. doc and mom

    Yeah, she flubbed. She is human! Oh my goodness, give the woman a break!!

    I didn't like her rendition and found it self-serving. But she is the artist and its her choice as to how to interpret the song.

    TOTALLY agree with Whoopi: the attempt by the SuperBowl producers to somehow link major political events and social advances to a ball game was appalling. What the hell does MLK or JFK or the right to vote have to do with football?! That whole bit was far more offensive than a Aguilera making an honest mistake in singing - with heart - the national anthem!

    February 7, 2011 at 10:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Mossman

      I'm sorry, you don't "interpret" a national anthem.

      February 7, 2011 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
    • doc and mom

      Mossman - Artists are asked to interpret EVERYTHING they sing. The producers would not have asked Christina Aguilera to sing if they did not want some sort of Aguilera-spin on the song. Did you see Lea Michelle's performance? It was more traditional, but even she did not sing it straight!

      What I don't get is why people are SOOO upset about this! She did make a mistake (lyrics) and her rendition was awful (in my opinion) but she did not go out there with the intention of screwing up or offending Americans. Without her intending to offend, no offense should be taken. This is not worthy of such ridicule.

      February 7, 2011 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
  11. kilmoturtles

    This song is not hers, or anybody else that tries to make it their own. Enough with these arrogant performers that think they have a right to make it unique to themselves! Nobody gives a damn about your range or style. It is meant to be sung one way! If she focused on singing it right, instead of her arrogant decision to make it unique , she would not have flubbed it.

    February 7, 2011 at 10:02 am | Report abuse |
  12. Paulie

    Was there really any legitimate excuse for this person to mess up the song considering the amount of money she was paid?

    February 7, 2011 at 10:02 am | Report abuse |
  13. Mark

    Maybe if she didn't "style" it like a dance/pop mix she wouldn't have jacked it up. Come on yo yo yo.....just sing the song.

    February 7, 2011 at 10:02 am | Report abuse |
  14. The Truth

    Messing up a line is forgivable, they way she sang the National Anthem is embarrassing and unforgivable. People need to stop trying to make their own rendition, just sing it the correct way. The song when sung correctly is very easy, you may trip up on some of the words but the melody is very simple. Francis Scott Key wrote the poem to the tune of a drinking song, how do you screw up the tune of a drinking song? They are designed to be easily sung even while drunk!

    February 7, 2011 at 10:02 am | Report abuse |
  15. Old Timer

    At least she didn't expose herself and show off her body jewelry. Or invite her boyfriends Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope. Woop woop.

    At least she, unlike the other washed up "teen sensation" Britney, has the ABILITY to sing. She should just remember that.

    February 7, 2011 at 10:03 am | Report abuse |
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